In a nutshell, here are Ed's rules:
- No "Tunnel Vision"
- Plant seeds
- Believe in your product and your company
- Don't make buy decision for customers
- Put the product in customers' hands
- Have customers give give you a counter-offer
- Remember, silence is golden
- Let customers "drag" information from you
Technicians don't ever want to come across as salespeople – they want to do their due dilignece, find the problems, make a list of must fixes, should be fixed, could be fixed later items and present this to the homeowners. Then wait for the customers to ask questions.
There’s company I do training for on a regular basis. My modus operandi for training in this company is to conduct brief morning meetings in which the service technicians give us blow-by-blow reports on the calls they ran the previous day. In one case a fellow named Ed joined the company I was working with and immediately established himself as someone with a knack for service sales. After listening to him speak a number of times, I saw some consistency in his approach and began taking notes, and came up with what I call “Ed’s Rules.”
No “Tunnel Vision.”
It’s common for technicians to show up on a call, spot the first problem they see, quote a price to fix it, then move on to the next call. Unfortunately, the first thing you see is rarely the only thing wrong. Only focusing on that first problems almost can cause a callback when something else goes wrong. That is bad.
Look at everything. Most systems have multiple problems and customers should be given the option of resolving all their system’s deficiencies. This helps save them money on operating costs and future repairs, spares them the inconvenience of additional breakdowns, and reduces the likelihood of property damage. It also protects both the technician’s and the company’s reputation. If customers decline to resolve their system’s deficiencies, at least they were warned and can’t blame anyone when bad things happen later.
No mini-sales pitches, but plant seeds
Techs never want to come across as salespeople there to sell something. Technicians are there to help them. Don’t say much of anything when you spot that first problem; just keep looking, and don’t say much while you’re running your inspection. People can only listen to so much, and if you say too much, you’ll bore them and wear them out.
Additionally, if you start bringing up too many problems as you see them, customers will start asking, “How much is all this gonna cost?” and make comments like, “This is starting to sound expensive.” Consequently, they may want you to stop your inspection, which doesn’t benefit anyone.
Believe in your product
Customers can read you like a book and can tell when you’re sincere. Only quote those products you honestly believe they will benefit by owning, and you’ll be more successful and sleep well at night.
Believe in your company
The service technicians ARE the company. If you don’t believe in your company, you don’t believe in yourself. It’s important that you work for a company that bends over backwards for customers, guards their online reputation, provides training, and strives to set the bar higher in your market area.
Don’t decide they’re not going to buy
This is one of the biggest mistakes technicians make. There is absolutely no way of knowing by the way the house looks, the car they drive, or how they dress or act, whether or not they’re going to buy. The key to success in this business is to do your job on every call, which means do a complete inspection, make a list of every deficiency you see in order of priority, go over it with the customer, and give them the option to make the right decision.
Put the products in their hands
Customers need and want to see and feel what they’re buying. Whenever possible, bring what you’re recommending in with you and put it in their hands.
Customers frequently want to negotiate with you, and some things are negotiable. Everyone always wants a deal, and sometimes you can give them a deal, but when you’re in a negotiating situation, never just drop your price.
Once you’ve made your offer, if they want a lower price, make them counter your offer. Ask them, “How much are you willing to pay for this?” Once you get a number out of them, get a commitment to buy prior to agreeing to a lower price. Say, “If I can do it for the price you offered, are we going to go ahead with this today?”
Remember, never drop your price and not make the sale! Never make it apparent that it’s all that important to you that they buy. The person who wins the negotiation is the person who is willing to walk away from the deal.
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- Charlie Greer's 10 Commandments of Service Agreements
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Silence is golden
Most service technicians talk too much. You don’t sell by talking; you sell by listening. Usually, the more they talk, the more you learn about them, and the more you learn about them, the more you’ll sell.
When two people are together, one of them has to be talking. If you don’t talk, they will. If you ask a customer a question, remain silent until they respond. Once you give them an opportunity to buy by asking a closing question, remain silent until they speak.
Get them to drag the info out of you
As a technician, don’t go into a customer's house with the intent of educating people. Don’t provide a lot of information. You’ll bore them. Don’t appear too anxious. Tell them the bare minimum and make them draw more information out of you. Then, you won’t talk too much.
These rules, according to Ed, will help make service technicians more focused on the job at hand and better able to close more necessary sales than they otherwise could. And that is good news.
Charlie Greer made his reputation by riding with service technicians, showing them how he runs calls. Well, Charlie’s too old and beaten up to do that any more, but his associate, Dale Mincks, isn’t. Dale will run calls with your techs and show them how to make more LEGITIMATE sales in your area, with your customers, using your prices. If your techs can’t sell, call Charlie at 1-800-963-HVAC (4822), or visit him on the web at www.hvacprofitboosters.com. Email Charlie at firstname.lastname@example.org.